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How does this train work? (vid)

  1. Jan 11, 2015 #1

    Can someone briefly describe to me how this works? I am making my own for a physics project and have to do a report with it. What is this an application of / What should I go over in the report, I originally found this when doing a project on Maglev trains but i don't know if it is a similar concept.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2015 #2


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    I saw a thread on that same thing on here within the last couple of months approx.

    did some quick searches .. couldn't find what I was after ... some one else may remember the thread
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
  4. Jan 11, 2015 #3
    Yes, e.g. with a moving magnet under the table.
  5. Jan 11, 2015 #4


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    Is it your contention that this is a trick?
  6. Jan 11, 2015 #5


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    Agree with you Dave

    It is a valid video ... I still cannot find the other thread :(
  7. Jan 11, 2015 #6


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    Tentative attempt at rudimentary explanation I wouldn't vouch for with my head:

    Magnets are typically coated in conductive metal, like nickel, for extended durability. Even if themselves not conductive, their metallic coating will conduct electricity from the battery to the copper coil. The current will flow between + an - through the coil, creating a magnetic field in the process:
    The induced magnetic field will interact with the field of the magnets, propelling the "train" forward.
  8. Jan 11, 2015 #7

    Doug Huffman

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    The dup was deleted, with my explanation. The magnets act as conducting contacts with the bare wire coil. The very clever gadget is a linear motor.
  9. Jan 12, 2015 #8


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    The solenoid needs to be bare copper wire, not enamelled, so as the magnets rub along the copper some current flows through that short section of the coil. The ingenuity of some people knows no bounds. :)

    Make sure the turns are not each touching, or the current will short out and not go the full distance around each turn. I expect the solenoid after winding will expand a bit, like a spring, so shorted turns should not be a problem.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
  10. Jan 12, 2015 #9
    Yes. The circle would be a Perpetuum mobile.
  11. Jan 12, 2015 #10


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    It would not, it is propelled by the energy stored in the battery. When the battery is discharged, it will not work any more.
  12. Jan 12, 2015 #11
    That sounds reasonable.
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